The Brazen Head claims to be Ireland’s oldest pub, dating back to 1198. It is definitely Dublin’s oldest however the official title goes to Sean’s Bar in Athlone which dates to 900 ad (which was certified by the Guinness Book of Records). The name ‘Brazen Head’ comes from a legendary automaton (like an old fashioned robot) that often appeared in literature in the shape of a brass or bronze head, reputed to be able to answer any question. It was said to have been owned by medieval scholars who were believed to be wizards, or who were reputed to be able to answer any question. The pub itself has a true sense of history however it is unclear how much of the original 11th century coach house is still intact. Past patrons have included such literary figures as James Joyce, Brendan Behan and Jonathan Swift as well as such revolutionaries as Wolfe Tone, Daniel O’Connell, Michael Collins and Robert Emmet (whose ghost, it is rumoured, is watching out for enemies in this pub, where he once held resistance meetings!) Today the patrons still include some famous faces, including Van Morrison, Hothouse Flowers, Mary Black and Garth Brooks.

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